The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (UNEP, IEA, FIA Foundation, and ITF), together with the Regional Environment Centre (REC) and Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST), last week hosted the first ever major symposium on fuel economy involving the full region in Szentendre, Hungary.
The workshop, which was attended by representatives from 23 CEE countries, heard presentations from a wide range of speakers with expertise on fuel economy, energy prospects and mobility trends. Introducing the event, and welcoming people to the REC HQ – the biggest solar-powered building in Europe - Marte Szigeti Bonifert, Executive Director of the REC said ‘It is a pleasure to have you here today to consider this important issue for our region. We must act now - time is already running out’
With presentations from amongst others, the International Energy Agency, The State Oil Corporation of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus Environmental Network, Green Car Club Georgia and the UNEP, to spur their thinking, participants were encouraged to work together to consider the many ways in which the issue of fuel economy impacts upon their country and the wider region, and how it might best be addressed. Links were established between fuel economy, and energy security, individual prosperity and of course, climate protection, and policy options such as fiscal policy, regulation and standard setting were considered.
In a lively and useful discussion several common theme emerged, amongst them the need to address driver behavior; the vital role of secondhand and imported vehicles; and the place of enforcement and monitoring. In particular, attendees agreed that a ‘CEE Fuel Economy Network’ of interested individuals such as themselves, would be a useful and welcome development in promoting further consideration of the issue across the region.
Speaking after the event, Sheila Watson, Executive Secretary of the GFEI said:
“This was an excellent meeting. It was great to see so many representatives of countries as diverse as Poland and Azerbaijan gather together to work on practical ways of promoting greater fuel economy in their countries. I am very excited about the next stages of this work when we will work together to develop the ideas discussed today and really make a difference in the fuel economy policies of these important countries. Watch this space!”
View photos from this event >
Ramiz Aliev >
Anup Bandivadekar >
Marta Bonifert >
Pierpaolo Cazzola >
Jos Dings >
Elisa Dumitrescu >
Lew Fulton >
Romain Hubert >
Nana Janashia >
Meretei Tamas >
Nikoloz Akulashvili >
Sipping Fuel and Saving Lives: Increasing Fuel Economy without Sacrificing Safety >
Download Working Paper
Click here to download the working paper "Cleaner, More Efficient Vehicles: Reducing Emissions in Central and Eastern Europe" (PDF - 2mb) >